Fashion How-To: 7 Tips For Clashing Prints

Clashing. What was once a game of dress ups is now a bona fide fashion commandment. Clashing is a head-turning fashion statement and a fun way to transform outdated soloist pieces into revived ensembles. Whilst 21st century fashion begs for rules to be broken, these tips are a must if you want to clash a la Carrie Bradshaw and less ‘crazy cat lady.’

Fashion How-to: Clash Prints



Use Complimentary Colours

Our brains are programmed to know what works well together. Go back to the colour wheel, match up the opposites and draw inspiration from clashes that are harmonious in their palette rather than their print. While still keeping it funky, alignment of the colour will add a touch of polish (as shown in the image below.)

Fashion how to - tips for clashing prints

Image: BWA’s Pinterest Board “Audrey Street Style”



Separate the Clash with a Strong Belt

A strong belt will create a border between your clashing prints, so they can each have their moment whilst not stepping on each other’s toes. The defined line between the two garments separates the chaos, and allows the pieces to work side by side in perfect disharmony.

Fashion How-To: Clash Prints

Image: Pinterest

Leave One Piece Neutral

Clashing doesn’t have to mean that your whole outfit is going to the party. Maybe your top half decided to stay at home. By leaving one piece neutral, you can reduce the busy-ness and get away with a bolder clash between the other elements. Olivia Palermo illustrates:

Fashion How-To: Clash Prints


Keep the Clash in the Same Theme

A blizzard on a desert island would melt quickly, so unless you’re absolutely fashion fearless, don’t go trying to match snowflakes and palm trees. Keep the prints from the same inspiration. Florals of different varieties, tribal print mash-up and block colours are all good options. Be extra cautious if trying to clash various animal prints however. This could lead to a head-on fashion collision.

Fashion How-To: Clash Prints


Clash With Stripes

Stripes are the ultimate clashing tie-together. The simple hard lines mute and draw the eye away from the other feature pattern, regardless of how attention seeking it is. This gives the combination perfect balance. Stripes on their own can be a fairly plain look. By clashing with a print, the ol’ stripes suddenly gain new flavour and become the hero of the ensemble.

Fashion how-to: clash prints

Image: BWA’s Pinterest Board ‘Daily Style’

Keep the Structure of the Pieces In Sync

To a rookie clasher, this style may seem like all you need to do is close your eyes and pick out the pieces from your closet that your hands land upon first. Work with structures that agree. Clashing is about showing off dynamism between the colours and prints, not creating a war between the cuts.

Fashion How-To: Clash Prints


Own It

If you’re not sure if it works, but you like what you see in the mirror, your clashing statement is a winner. The aim of the look is to garner attention and assert the bold side of your fashion style. So go the whole hog. Grab your leopard print clutch, put your shoulders back and strut your stuff.

Fashion How-To: Clash prints

RHW For Harpers Bazaar… That is all! Image:


What do you think of the clashing prints look that is gaining momentum around the fashion traps? Is it for you? Let us know in the comments below and earn BWA Dollars for doing so!





  • Fashionista8P
    Reply Fashionista8P Thursday 21st May, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    WOW these look absolutely fantastic. Would love to try it myself but would be too chicken

  • Reply xlilda Monday 5th January, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Hmm still not a fan unfortunately..

  • Reply BellaB Sunday 4th January, 2015 at 1:05 am

    I know some people can carry it off, but this is another look that I generally find ugly.

  • ivysaurus
    Reply ivysaurus Friday 2nd January, 2015 at 10:33 am

    great tips I need to move away from the monochrome

  • Reply lovelyloves Wednesday 24th December, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I really love these patterns. I would love some of those pants that Olivia Palermo is wearing.

  • Vanessa Roberts - Editor
    Reply Vanessa Roberts Monday 22nd December, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    It’s a bit of trial and error I think! Easiest way to get into it, is via clashing a garment with an accessory such as a shoe or bag. Then, when you have more confidence double clash garments!

  • Reply blueruby Friday 19th December, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    always thought that prints are one of the hardest to match!

  • Reply Thursday 18th December, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks so much for the tips! I really struggle with mixing prints but still try it every now and then. There are some great combinations for me to get inspiration from.

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Tuesday 16th December, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Some interesting combinations!

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